MJFChat: The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Microsoft Cloud
We’re doing a twice-monthly interview show on Petri.com that is dedicated to covering topics of interest to our tech-professional audience. We have branded this show “MJFChat.”
In my role as Petri’s Community Magnate, I will be interviewing a variety of IT-savvy technology folks. Some of these will be Petri contributors; some will be tech-company employees; some will be IT pros. We will be tackling various subject areas in the form of 30-minute audio interviews. I will be asking the questions, the bulk of which we’re hoping will come from you, our Petri.com community of readers.
Readers can submit questions via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and/or LinkedIn using the #AskMJF hashtag. Once the interviews are completed, we will post the audio and associated transcript in the forums for readers to digest at their leisure. (By the way, did you know MJFChats are now available in podcast form? Go here for MJF Chat on Spotify; here for Apple Podcasts on iTunes; and here for Google Play.)
What is “Inside Microsoft Teams”?
“Inside Microsoft Teams” is a webcast series, now in Season 4 for IT pros hosted by Microsoft Product Manager, Stephen Rose. Stephen & his guests comprised of customers, partners, and real-world experts share best practices of planning, deploying, adopting, managing, and securing Teams. You can watch any episode at your convenience, find resources, blogs, reviews of accessories certified for Teams, bonus clips, and information regarding upcoming live broadcasts. Our next episode, “Polaris Inc., and Microsoft Teams- Reinventing how we work and play” will be airing on Oct. 28th from 10-11am PST.
Our latest MJFChat, recorded on November 9, is focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the Microsoft cloud. My special guest is Tony Redmond, lead author of Office 365 for IT Pros and a regular Petri.com contributor.
With all the Microsoft cloud outages and disruptions lately, it’s a good time to reconsider just how solid (or not) Azure, Microsoft 365/Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud services really are. Tony provides his two cents on what’s going wrong (not enough pre-deployment testing, for one) and answers a few reader and listener questions, as well.
If you know someone you’d like to see interviewed on the MJFChat show, including yourself, just Tweet to me or drop me a line. (Let me know why you think this person would be an awesome guest and what topics you’d like to see covered.) We’ll take things from there….
Mary Jo Foley (00:00):
Hi, you’re listening to Petri.Com’s MJF Chat show. I am Mary Jo Foley, AKA your Petri.com community magnate. And I am here to interview tech industry experts about various topics that you, our readers and listeners want to know about. Today’s MJF Chat is going to be all about the strengths and weaknesses of the Microsoft cloud. And my special guest for this chat is Tony Redmond, who is the lead author of Office 365 for IT Pros and a Petri.com contributor. Hi Tony, and thank you so much for doing this chat with me today.
Tony Redmond (00:39):
Oh, the pleasure is entirely mine. And I mean, that.
Mary Jo Foley (00:45):
Tony Redmond (00:45):
There you go, right from the start. I’m hoping for an easy ride.
Mary Jo Foley (00:51):
Tony knows me. He knows I’m going to save the tough questions for last, like all good reporters.
Tony Redmond (00:57):
Yeah. Just set me off and then hit me over the head with a two-by-four.
Mary Jo Foley (01:04):
So this is a very big topic as everyone can appreciate, especially Tony, because he knows the size of Office 365 for IT Pros, eBook, and how often he has to update it. So we’ve got a hodgepodge of questions, some from listeners and readers, some from me, and we’re going to talk about everything from future features, to how to manage them, to outages and SLA. So we’re going to go all over the map on the Microsoft cloud here. Okay.
Tony Redmond (01:37):
Aright, go for it.
Mary Jo Foley (01:37):
Alright, you’re ready. So, first question for me is can there be too much of a good thing when it comes to features? And the reason I’m asking this is, I think you wrote about this on Petri earlier this year, but Microsoft is rolling out so many new features and updates for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 that I can barely keep up. Like every single week I get an email listing, tens of new features coming to my tenant. But this is like every single week and sometimes there’s like 20 or 25 of them. So my question to you is how can IT Pros possibly keep up with this? And is it too much of a good thing?
Tony Redmond (02:20):
Okay. That’s a big question.
Mary Jo Foley (02:24):
It is, I know.
Tony Redmond (02:24):
That’s kinda like, you know, debate at length. The first thing is let’s put some context on it. There’s probably, let’s see an E3 or E5 tenant, because of course it makes a difference your licenses, you’ll probably see about 250 notifications a year to say we’re doing something. Now 250 notifications, doesn’t always mean that they deliver 250 new features because some of those notifications are reissued as features get delayed, whatever. But on the plus side, this is kind of like adding votes, on the plus side, you’ve got to add in all of the features that get shipped without anybody saying anything to anybody. And there’s a bunch of those as well. So you could over a year, have to deal between 250 and 275 new things happening inside Office 365. Now some of those things are very small and some of those things are quite large. A quite large thing would be something like the announcement and the provision of Microsoft Lists, for example.
Tony Redmond (03:35):
Or Tasks and Teams. Those are big features because they might affect a lot of people. Others will be more minor, like for example, a change in a Teams meeting policy to force external guests to wait in the lobby, the meeting lobby, before they can join, those types of things. But the point is there’s a lot of stuff going on. And by the way, it’s not Microsoft’s problem. This is all Google’s problem.
Mary Jo Foley (04:02):
Tony Redmond (04:02):
It’s caused by Google.
Mary Jo Foley (04:03):
Oh yeah, yep. I agree with you.
Tony Redmond (04:05):
Yeah, yeah. Ever since, I don’t know, ever since Javier Soltera went over there, and became the GM of Google workplace, GSuite, whatever. You know, things have gone crazy because we have so much new stuff happening. And that’s because the competition is reignited between Microsoft and Google, that’s why I put it down.
Tony Redmond (04:28):
There you go.
Mary Jo Foley (04:29):
Tony Redmond (04:30):
But, you know, back to the real question, is it too much of a good thing? At times, I think it is. And the reason why I say that is that despite everybody loving new functionality, it would be great if we had functionality that worked all the time, the way it should do. And one of the things that I’m really conscious about, and in the Microsoft cloud these days is that I think quality standards have fallen dramatically in terms of QA and testing. Far too many things get out the door, and you say, how could that, how could you have done that? I mean, it’s just terrible.
Mary Jo Foley (05:13):
Well, you just gave me the perfect segue. We’re going to talk about that, right. So I felt like most of this year, so far Microsoft has done a pretty good job keeping its services up and running during the pandemic. They’ve been taking a proactive approach around prioritizing them and reconfiguring how they work on their own servers. But then October came and there were some pretty big outages with Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Azure itself. There were things like Exchange Online kept having issues. Admin Center just kept disappearing for people. There were all kinds of Azure authentication issues with other services like Teams and SharePoint, I believe. So, you know, we’re talking about your quality comments here. And one of our listeners, Allan Clarke said on Twitter, why does it seem like Exchange Server is under an advisory every single day? So, I’d love to hear your comments on what you think is going on here. Is this something to worry about? Like, is this just a blip or is this something that Microsoft needs to address? Because it’s going to become a long-term problem if they don’t.
Tony Redmond (06:34):
I think it’s just indicative of moving parts in a very, very large infrastructure. I mean, let’s look at the facts that we know, just none of us know exactly what’s happening inside Office 365. They’re adding capacity all the time. They’re building out data centers. They’re adding more of what they call the “Go Local” regions in places like South Africa, Norway, Switzerland, and so forth. They’re growing the influence of the substrate all the time. The substrate is terribly important, increasingly important aside Office 365 now, because it’s the single point of contact for things like e-discovery compliance and search. So a lot of data has been accumulated there. All of that data has got to be stored and managed. So there’s a lot more storage being added inside the data centers. And there’s a lot more AI and machine learning, being put in place, just looking at the stuff that’s being put in for OWA, where you’ve got things like predictive text, you know. They’ve added things like trainable pacifiers to allow you to find documents more easily for compliance purposes.
Tony Redmond (07:52):
They’ve put in classifiers to do things like communications compliance so that when I send you a very threatening message, it’ll be picked up and I’ll be wrapped across the knuckles for being mean to you. You know, the point is that there’s a lot of stuff happening and all of that machine learning and AI is the result of new services you’ve been running on new servers spread across all of these data centers. Even things like Play My Email, which started off in a US only data center because it was linked to Cortana is now going out international over the next couple of weeks. So there are a lot of moving parts. And when you’ve got moving parts, you’ve got the potential for error. The codebase that’s changing all the time, as well as new features, get rolled out.
Tony Redmond (08:43):
You’ve just got an incredible amount of complexity. And at times I think we see that complexity breaking down as users put strain on the services. There’s no doubt that users are putting more and more strain on the service. We could just see that in what Satya Nadella said, he was talking about 6 billion minutes of collaboration usage of the service. He didn’t tell us when that was, whether it was just Teams, whether an email is included, but even just 6 billion minutes of collaboration, that’s a lot generated by looking at the latest numbers, 115 million daily active users of Teams. Microsoft was very, very coy about the number of active Office 365 commercial users. They keep on for some reason, their results talking about the consumer users, the folks who are buying the licenses for Word and Excel and stuff like that, but they’ve stopped giving out the numbers for commercial, which is kind of interesting.
Tony Redmond (09:38):
And I think that’s because even though there’s growth in the places like Teams, overall growth is slowing off a little bit. But anyway, still my own estimate is that there’s about 230, between 230 and 250 million active users of Office 365. So lots of demand, lots of moving services, lots of new services, lots of new storage and you get stain. And then the strain you see illustrated and breaks, as their Active Directory broke. And it is probably the single biggest, single point of failure. That Office 365 and Microsoft 365 as a whole has got. If Azure AD goes down, fine. You’re out of luck, because without authentication, you can’t get the services. So that’s the reason why once AD started to have issue, everything started to fall apart in many places. But against that, you gotta say that there’s a couple of mitigating factors. First off is that when Azure AD goes down, it’s only when you look for new tokens, new authentication that you’re you’re interfered with.
Tony Redmond (10:53):
So people who have, who use web apps, for example, which cache those tokens won’t need to go back unless they need to get a renewed token, same for mobile apps, same for desktop apps. That’s a mitigating factor, another mitigating factor is a lot of the apps, including Teams now in its own little way can work offline, without authentication. So I guess we are seeing some things being put in place to make it more survivable. In terms of the SLA, I just had a look today. Microsoft issued the SLA figures for Q3 2020, which is the period I think that most of that muscle’s problems happened. And so I’ve been tracking the numbers and the SLA since 2013 and the lowest figure they have ever reported against their 99.9% commitment, which is their financially backed SLA was 99.94.
Tony Redmond (12:03):
That was in Q1 2013, even with all the problems last quarter, they were at 99.97.
Mary Jo Foley (12:08):
Tony Redmond (12:08):
Which is incredible.
Mary Jo Foley (12:14):
Tony Redmond (12:14):
That just speaks. But you know what, that speaks to the fact that in many of the situations you see, many of the incidents you see, highlighted in the press only happen in a single Office 365 region.
Mary Jo Foley (12:27):
Tony Redmond (12:27):
So if that happened in the US, which is the largest reason you get lots of hot air about it, but in fact, you know EMEA is still running. APAC is still running. France is still running, Switzerland, Norway, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Mary Jo Foley (12:54):
Tony Redmond (12:54):
So there’s a huge resilience in this infrastructure. So it’s a difficult question to answer.
Mary Jo Foley (13:05):
It is for us too.
Tony Redmond (13:05):
Going back to the actual specific of just Exchange Online seems to have an advisory every day. Just to identify why does Exchange Online? I think it’s just because Exchange is at the core of so much that happens inside Office 365, and it’s not just Exchange. It’s also Exchange Online Protection. You see a lot of that come up moreso than, I believe the core messaging engine,
Mary Jo Foley (13:29):
It’s challenging for us as the press, because like, for example, last week I had a Microsoft 365 user pinging me and showing me the advisories he was getting in his admin center. And he was down like an entire day with Exchange. Right? And he’s like, why aren’t you writing about this? And I said, the way I figured this out is I look online and I wait for people to ping me. And I look to see how many people are complaining to try to get some kind of a gauge about how many people are affected and where, and if it’s just like one piece, small piece of the US, I know it’s crucial to your business, but I can’t write an article every single time, like one person is down. Like it’s just unwieldy. Right? So, yeah, it’s challenging.
Tony Redmond (14:16):
Yeah. Well, but to that one person in Kansas that’s really important.
Mary Jo Foley (14:22):
Exactly. And you feel for them because it’s like, I can’t get email all day. Right? So you know, we talked about the importance of Azure Active Directory to kind of the whole keeping Microsoft 365 and Office 365 running. But my question is, you know, Microsoft is actually moving more and more of it’s Office 365 services completely over to Azure. Like they haven’t been all on Azure for the entire time they’ve existed. So piece by piece, they’re bringing more and more of them over to Azure and hosting them on Azure. So I’m curious if you think that’ll affect the kinds of outages or the prevalence of outages that we see in the future. Once these are on Azure completely. I don’t know when that will be, but like, is that going to affect it at all? Do you think?
Tony Redmond (15:14):
No, I don’t think so. I mean, some of the mainline services are already there.
Mary Jo Foley (15:19):
Tony Redmond (15:19):
Sharepoint uses Azure. Teams is Cosmos DB. SharePoint and OneDrive are using Azure SQL. Exchange I think is still physical J bolt storage SSD in many cases, but it may move. I’m not privy to the engineering plans. I suspect that will be purely an economic decision because with the amount of storage, remember that once you’ve got an enterprise mailbox with Exchange, you can get a hundred gig of quota, plus a hundred gig of recoverable license. If you’re on hold, plus ever-expanding archives up to one terabyte. So there’s a lot of storage being assigned to an individual mailbox right there. So if the law comes down to economics, these guys know how to run spreadsheets.
Tony Redmond (16:16):
They will know what is the cheapest and most effective form of storage for them. But just in the recent past, I reflect that they, they did go through the engineering to correct what they call the master base for Exchange, which is where hot base is cashed. That is all on SSD. So, and that was done to make sure that clients got better responsiveness for things like quick lookups against the inbox and for search. So, you know, can they take that over and put it on to Azure and get the same performance and get the same cost. They’re the only ones who can answer that.
Mary Jo Foley (16:54):
Tony Redmond (16:54):
But for, you know, I don’t think they would do it, if they thought that it was going to make Exchange less reliable. That would be madness. They certainly won’t do it if it’ll cost them more.
Mary Jo Foley (17:11):
Yeah. Good point. So speaking of costs and we brought, brought up SLAs briefly, already, but I have a reader question about SLAs and he, I believe works for a partner. And he said he was trying to file for a credit on some of the recent outages on behalf of his client. But he said, because of all the hoops, he has to jump through, all the filing deadlines, the places he has to go to figure everything out are multiple different portals. And there’s no single thing, like a credit portal. He said, it’s almost impossible to actually get a credit. And I’m curious if you hear this as being an issue from people you’ve talked to, and if you think somebody like that has any hope of actually getting a credit for an outage like we’ve been seeing like in October and November.
Tony Redmond (18:06):
Hm. Interestingly an MVP named Matt Wade. I think his websites is jumpto365.com, recently published an article where he talked about his experiences of pursuing a service credit with Microsoft. Where he related to the story about things like the initial support interaction, which was, Oh, no, nothing happened, and the various discussions as more detail was given to the support people, yeah, it happened, here’s when it happened. This is how long I was out to, eventually getting a support credit. You know, now I don’t want to have, I don’t want this to be represented as a another dig at support people because they have a tremendously difficult job.
Mary Jo Foley (18:55):
Tony Redmond (18:55):
And indeed the first reaction that they’re always going to give you is well, prove that you had an outage, it’s up to you to prove if you want to get some value back.
Tony Redmond (19:05):
And I suspect, you know people are well able to do the math, they’ll be able to look at the SLA and say, well, okay, how much did I actually lose? What can I claim? Or how much am I going to get, versus how much it’s going to cost me for the couple of hours, maybe eight hours perhaps, spread over many days of talking to support. How much is actually going to be worthwhile? And regretfully that’s kind of world we live in. You could make an argument, Oh, gee, Microsoft with your software capabilities, you could have a portal up there with machine learning, backing it up to say, pur in your tenant ID and I’ll go and process it and find out whether or not we have any records for downtime. But, you know, you gotta ask yourself if you were inside Microsoft, would you be able to make such a proposal to management? Let’s go and give away a lot of money to our customers, by making it much easier for them to claim support credits. Probably not a high engineering priority, but that’s me being cynical.
Mary Jo Foley (20:15):
Nope. I think, I think you’re right. Okay. Speaking of resiliency, let’s stay on that line of questioning. We’ve got a question from someone whose name is Mark Boat on Twitter. And his question was, should I use Dropbox as a backup to OneDrive? So I’m taking this as a bigger question. Do you think people should still be using third party services to kind of have a guarantee for some of the Microsoft 365 services? Or do you think that’s not really necessary anymore?
Tony Redmond (20:51):
I think it depends on the data governance framework that’s used inside of the organization. I mean the whole point of putting stuff into a single managed space, which I regard as Microsoft 365 as being, is that you can have common compliance across everything in the space. Once you add a third party space repository, like Dropbox, like Box, like Google Drive, you’re automatically putting information outside of the managed space, which means that it becomes a lot more difficult to have compliance, retention policies, regulatory records, and all that sort of stuff. Now, some people don’t care about that. And by the way, if you don’t have E3 or E5 licenses, you don’t care because you don’t have that kind of functionality anyway. So the point being, in that case, becomes moot. But if you were in a regulatory, an industry that’s under heavy regulation, like financial services, then you have a problem.
Tony Redmond (21:50):
And you’ve really got to keep everything together because not only do you have to comply with regulations, otherwise you go out of business, but you probably have so many records that you need to keep an eye on. So I guess that’s a long way of saying it depends on your own business situation, your business requirements. Do I do it? No I don’t, I put everything inside Microsoft 365. Am I bothered by that? No, because most of my stuff, I have local copies of it on workstations anyway. So yeah, I guess I could have a complete synchronization meltdown and lose data, but touch wood. I’m grasping a table here as I say this, I have not had that to date.
Mary Jo Foley (22:34):
Good. Okay. So now let’s talk a little bit about futures and the reason I’m interested in this is I get asked a lot and you probably do too. If there’ll be someday, some new, big addition to Office 365 on the scale of Teams? Like I always have people asking me, so what’s next? Like they’ve got Teams, so what’s the next big thing? Right. And I kind of thought Project Cortex, the knowledge management service was going to be this, but it doesn’t seem like that now, because it seems like instead, they’re going to be rolling it out in piece parts as optional updates to your existing license. But I’m curious what you think if you think there will be a next big thing or do you think one day we’ll actually see something like an E7 and Tom Arbuthnot asked on Twitter about our thoughts on this, especially your thoughts. And he said, what’s the likelihood Microsoft might add features in-licenses, beyond E5 in terms of things like more advanced communications and Cortex Syntex service. Like, do you think you’ll see more of that? Or will we see like a whole brand new service, something like Teams, but something else, what do you think is going to happen?
Tony Redmond (23:50):
Oh wow, there’s a lot of questions there, the first thing, will we see a brand new application, I’m kind of wary of making predictions about brand new applications because every time one comes along and Microsoft marketing muscle goes behind it, you almost have this battle, will it succeed or will it not? Yammer is a great example of that. When that was bought by Microsoft in 2012 you know, over the 2013, 2014, 2015 period, we were told, Oh boy, Yammer, cures even the common cold, just use it, it’ll cure everything. And then we had Office 365 Groups and that was, they were brilliant. And then we had Teams. So as you pointed out to Cortex, which to me was never going to be the next big thing, because it seemed like it was always going to be most valuable to companies that already have a significant Corpus of documents and files inside SharePoint or OneDrive and needed help in dealing with them rather than something that was going to be of much use to the average person.
Tony Redmond (24:58):
So, the answer is I’m not sure. I don’t specialize in crystal ball gazing in terms of, at least not much. In terms of E5 or E7, E5 for very special people, the minds of marketeers are very deep and obtuse. So whether or not there is some sort of combination of functionality that could be brought together to produce significantly more value for people at a higher cost point, a higher revenue point for Microsoft remains to be seen. Right now, it seems to me that they’re stuffing E5, with as much as they can. That’s part of this whole focus that Amy Hood and the financial community within Microsoft have got of driving the average revenue per user, the ARPU achieved from Office 365 every quarter. You hear it at the analyst briefing every quarter.
Tony Redmond (26:11):
And the reason there is that the higher you drive the ARPU, the higher the profit you get, it’s all pure profit because all they’re doing is selling software licenses. They’ve already got captive users. So if they can turn them from a $20 a month, E3 to $35 a month, E5 they give away very little, but they get an extra $15 profit. So that’s the reason why they’re stuffing things full of E5 at the moment and convincing people, you know, that they need advanced add ons, some compliance stuff here, there, and everywhere. So, I think there’s room for some consolidation and maybe some refactoring of these licenses. Perhaps when eventually Microsoft moves Office 365 to become Microsoft 365, because today they still have this dichotomy between what’s Office 365 and what’s Microsoft 365, largely I think because so much of the licensing that they have for Office 365 is tied up in large-scale deals, which are multi-year.
Tony Redmond (27:19):
So it’s almost like they have to wait for everything to unravel, and then they’ll be able to bring everybody together into a happy Microsoft 365 family. And we might see some relicensing then. But I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint everybody in saying, I have no knowledge brand new super-duper, maybe there’ll be an Xbox application for Office 365, which is integrated into Teams and allows you to play your most precious games inside Teams. Would that suit?
Mary Jo Foley (27:52):
Tony don’t give them any ideas.
Tony Redmond (27:55):
Mary Jo Foley (27:56):
Don’I give them ideas.
Tony Redmond (27:57):
I was thinking of Paul Thurrott, you know, that would just be right up his street.
Mary Jo Foley (28:03):
I kind of wondered if they might do, I forget what they called this, but like kind of break out some of the features in the E5 license and make them available as an add-on license to E3 so that you could kind of have step up halfway, because I had a few education customers say to me, I want some of the security things that are in E5, but there’s no way we can pay for an E5 license for everyone. Right. There’s just no way.
Tony Redmond (28:29):
Yeah. Well, they have a bunch of add ons, it’s whether or not they would go through all of the licensing complexity. I mean, my gosh, if you look at the amount of licenses that people are assigned when they’re given one of these plans, it’s complex to deal with through the GUI, but then if you’re trying to deal with it with tens or hundreds of thousands of people, you’re probably not going to do that through GUI, and you’ll have to program it with the Graph or PowerShell, it just becomes really, really, really complex.
Mary Jo Foley (29:01):
Mary Jo Foley (29:01):
And that by the way is a very big focus I have seen from customers across the world, they have realized just how much money they are paying to Microsoft every month for licenses. So there is an increased focus on making sure that those licenses are assigned to the right people and it’s the right license for the right people to make sure that their spending is effective. So, you know, you’ve got these two competing things where customers are resisting paying for higher licenses or resisting paying for too many licenses. And Microsoft tried to get everybody to upsell, upsell, upsell. So it’s kind of interesting, but on the, to be fair again, just to balance the picture, it’s also fair to say that Microsoft hasn’t increased the prices of Office 365 since they launched in 2011.
Mary Jo Foley (29:51):
I know, which is very surprising, to me anyway.
Tony Redmond (29:54):
Very surprising, very surprising, very laudable.
Mary Jo Foley (29:59):
It is, I know, even with adding more and more features, they’re keeping the price the same, which is definitely laudable. Laudable is a good word. Okay. We got the last question here. So this is my question for you. If you had to say in your opinion, what is Microsoft’s single biggest cloud strength and its single biggest cloud weakness at the moment? What would you say? Putting you on the spot, Tony.
Tony Redmond (30:31):
No, no, no. That’s actually pretty easy, the weakness is pushing out features without testing.
Mary Jo Foley (30:40):
Tony Redmond (30:40):
Easy. I, by the way, I do not understand, I do understand why they do this, but I don’t at the same time. I understand that they want to say stay competitive. I understand from a personal level the PMs and engineering managers want stuff shipped because that helps them, you know, achieve their goals, get bonus paid and stuff like that. From a corporate level, I don’t understand that at all because when you ship out stuff which is flawed and has bugs, it increases your service costs. And service costs even with all of the automation that they’ve got you know, is a very, very big cost bucket. So over the years, Microsoft seems to have done a lot to try and restrict or restrain rather, service costs for Office 365.
Tony Redmond (31:30):
At the same time, they allowed the engineering groups to reduce the amount of QA and testing and just ship stuff out, which is not ready to go. So that I think is the biggest weakness they’ve got. The biggest strength they’ve got is their size. And the fact that even though we might moan a lot at times about you know, the performance or whatever, there’s no doubt that they have put in place a truly worldwide global network to link all their data centers together with an enormous number, an enormous thousands of local contact points to minimize the transit from your local network to their network, because that’s, that is a weakness in itself. If your network is bad and your ISP is bad, you’re going to have an unhappy time getting to Office 365.
Tony Redmond (32:31):
But once you get inside the Microsoft network, because of all of the investment they’ve put in place, you know, things work pretty well. So their size, the investment they’ve made in data centers, the investment they’ve made in networks, these are huge advantages and they’re just rolling up their installed base to create this huge number of Office 365 users. And mind you, you know, the last results that we’re talking about, the overall size of the installed base, they seem to be given some hints that only about 30% of the installed base remains to be rolled over. So after they’ve done all that, what do they do next?
Mary Jo Foley (33:10):
Right, maybe go after consumers. That seems to be an obsession that never goes away for them.
Tony Redmond (33:16):
Yeah, could be.
Mary Jo Foley (33:19):
Anyway, that’s good. That’s a good summary. So thank you very much, Tony, always a pleasure to talk to you and thanks for taking the time.
Tony Redmond (33:31):
You too. Yep. It was great. Great talking to you.
Mary Jo Foley (33:34):
Great and for everyone listening to this right now, or reading the transcript, I’ll be putting up more information soon on Petri about who my next guest is going to be. And once you see that you can submit questions directly on Twitter for the guests using the hashtag #MJFChat. And in the meantime, if you know of anyone else or even yourself who might make a good guest for one of these MJF Chats, please do not hesitate to drop me a note. Thank you very much.